ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai rice prices at 11-month low
THAI rice prices were mired at their weakest level in 11 months this week as demand remained low, but rates for the grain from Vietnam rose slightly on hopes key buyer Philippines would soon issue an import tender, traders said on Wednesday.
Thailand’s 5 per cent broken white rice stood unchanged at US$385 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) basis, the lowest since June 2014.
“I don’t know where else prices can go, there are no buyers,” a Thai trader based in Bangkok said, adding that prices were expected to change little for the rest of the month.
The Thai government may consider a tender at a meeting next week as it seeks to sell 10 million tonnes this year, Duangporn Rodphaya, a director at the Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday.
In Vietnam, the world’s third-largest rice exporter after India and Thailand in 2014, prices edged up due to prospects of a possible tender in the Philippines, traders said.
Vietnam’s 5-per cent broken rice rose to $360-$363 a tonne, FOB basis, from $355-$360 a tonne a week ago, and the 25 per cent broken rice rose to $340 a tonne, from $330-$335 last Wednesday.
Manila may buy between 200,000-310,000 tonnes or rice via a tender, industry sources in Thailand and the Philippines have said. The Philippines, one of the world’s top rice importers, usually buys most of its rice from Vietnam.
But increasing global rice supplies could drag on Vietnam’s rice export prices this month, the government said in a report this week, citing a projection by the Finance Ministry-run Price Control Department.
Purchases by China, Vietnam’s top rice buyer, have not picked up even though many Chinese traders have been to Vietnam in recent weeks, traders in Ho Chi Minh City said.
China has surplus rice and to curb cheap imports and cut state reserves, the government allocated 2015 import quotas only to mills which also buy from state reserves.
China’s output in the 2014/15 marketing year is expected to edge up 1.4 per cent to 144.5 million tonnes of milled rice, the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said in a report for May.
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